TransWales video competition how-to - Bike Magic

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TransWales video competition how-to

We’ve just extended the deadline for our massive TransWales competition (two free places on the awesome stage race, bikes to ride, piles of free kit – “a £2,500 value!” as our transatlantic cousins might say). And as we’re asking for videos it seems only fair to offer some basic hints and tips. It’s not as hard as you might think…

First, get some footage. You don’t need lots – remember that the finished product has to be no more than 60 seconds (that’s a single, solitary minute) long, which isn’t much. It’s very easy to shoot too much. Given that the target is the online video sharing site of your choice, you don’t need high-end equipment. If you’ve got one, a camcorder is an obvious choice, but nearly every digital camera has a movie mode which is perfectly good enough for the internet. You could even do it on a phone. As long as you’ve got some sort of device that can splurge digital video down a wire, you’re set.

If there’s more than one of you, shooting will be easy – one person rides or talks, the other holds the camera. Given that there are two TransWales places up for grabs, we’d anticipate people entering as a two-person team, so stick the camera on a tripod, or a fencepost, or just hold it at arm’s length. The same idea works for riding footage too. If you’ve got a person behind the camera then they can pan and track and stuff, but if not, you can get good shots by aiming the camera at a section of trail, setting it running and riding past. Experiment with angles a bit and you’re bound to hit on something good.

Once you’ve got (inevitably far too much) footage, it’s time to edit it. The likes of Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere are monumental overkill for this task, plus they cost money. Your best bet is something like iMovie or Windows Movie Maker, which will neither cost anything at all or confuse you.

Your first editing task is to strip out all the rubbish. Bin any shots that just didn’t work and tidy the stuff you think you might use – if you’ve been shooting yourself then all your riding shots will have lots of nothing happening at either end, so trim that back. Leave a second or two of nothing, though – it’ll be a lot easier to make the cuts or transitions between shots tidy.

Then shuffle all your clips around into a suitable order. We’re looking for a mixture of riding (which doesn’t have to be in any way gnarly, TransWales is not by any stretch of the imagination Red Bull Rampage or Crankworx) and “talking heads” so we can get an idea of what you’re like. And remember that 60 second limit…

When you’re happy (and knowing when to stop is a key skill, otherwise you end up spending a week fiddling around with trifling details), upload your video to your choice of sharing site – YouTube is the obvious one, although we like Vimeo too. Tag your video with “bikemagic transwales” and send the URL to Done.

By way of an example, here’s our own quick’n’dirty effort, shot single-handedly in one afternoon on a £25 compact digital camera and edited with Windows Movie Maker (found on pretty much every PC made in the last few years). Lo-fi is the new HD, apparently. And before the pedants swoop, yes, ours is just over a minute long, but we’re not counting the titles and credits. So there.
So there you go. Hopefully you’re either inspired or are experiencing an overwhelming wave of “I could do miles better than that”. Get shooting, send the URLs of your videos to by 17 July and you and a friend could be lining up at the start of TransWales in August. Find out more on our competition page. Good luck!


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